In the NFL, there is no doubt the quarterback position is one of the hardest to find success. Not only is your team’s success riding on your ability to run the offense, but more often than not they are the face of the franchise.
For every one quarterback that succeeds, there are ten more who fail miserably. In no particular order, here are five greatest quarterbacks of all-time ever to take the field.
Montana may not have the strongest arm or the gaudy career passing statistics, but there is no denying the impact he while playing in the NFL. During his career, Montana led his team to 11 playoff appearances and winning four Super Bowls.
Montana finished his career with 40,551 passing yards and 273 touchdown passes while earning eight Pro Bowl berths. In recent years, some have given Montana’s success less weight because of the number of Hall of Fame players who shared the field with Montana. For some, he has become a focus in the argument that any quarterback can be great if surrounded by the right pieces.
While his name maybe foreign to the younger generation, Unitas is the one quarterback that just about everyone could agree is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Unitas began his football career with the Baltimore Colts in 1956 and became the unquestioned leader in a time when football was still developing as a game.
Though his career numbers of 40,279 passing yards with 290 touchdowns and 253 interceptions may be considered average at best compared to modern day numbers, Unitas’ inspiring performance on the field helped turn the NFL into the aerial show we have today.
When the term gunslinger is thrown around to describe a quarterback, the reference eventually comes back to the one man who epitomized it, Brett Favre. Though he has never been afraid to throw a pass, Favre has shown toughness at a position that had not been seen for some time.
Since starting in the NFL in 1991, Favre has thrown for NFL records with 69,329 passing yards, 497 touchdowns and 317 interceptions. While his selfish actions in recent years may detract some from his play on the field, Favre will still go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game.
If you ask most NFL scouts what they want in a quarterback, their perfect example would be Marino. His quick delivery and pocket presence made Marino a nightmare for defensive coordinators. As a result, Marino set numerous NFL passing records with his 61,361 passing yards, 420 touchdowns, and 252 interceptions.
The only thing that held Marino back in his career was the lack of support from any kind of running game. Sadly team management never surrounded Marino with the pieces he needed to achieve a Super Bowl victory. In the end, Marino is the only quarterback on the list not to have had the opportunity to hold the Lombardi trophy.
Even though Manning’s NFL career is not near the end, you would have a hard time finding another quarterback who can be a game changer no matter who is playing on the other side of the ball.
So far in his career, Manning has thrown 50,128 passing yards with 366 touchdowns and 181 interceptions. While Manning is on pace to break the majority of the NFL passing records, it is his approach to the game that makes his performance even more impressive.
Critics of Manning have said he can not win the big games and falters when the pressure is on the line. While a .500 playoff record is nothing to write home about, Manning has shown the ability to carry a team even when his defense fails to make any kind of stop or if his running game is non-existent.
Statistics from NFL Pro Reference